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Describe the theory of continental drift.

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  • In 1912 Alfred Wegener propounded the theory of continental drift to describe the present arrangement of continents and ocean basins.
  • He postulated a massive super continent Pangaea that existed 220 million years ago. 
  • Pangaea, the hypothetical continent, from which present continents originated by the drift from Mesozoic era to the present. 

Wegener hypothesized that the super continent of Pangaea broke up to from : 

a) Laurensia – consisting of present North America, Greenland and all of Eurasia north of Indian subcontinent and 

b) Gondwana land – consisting of present South America, Africa, Madagascar, Arabia, India, Malaysia, East Indies, Australia and Antarctica.

  • These two blocks were separated by a long shallow inland sea called Tethys sea. 
  • It took millions of years for the continents to reach the present shapes and positions on the globe.
  • Even today many of the continents are moving very slowly pushing each other.

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